Rejecting Napoleon

Excerpt by Georgia Tech's Chris DeSantis, originally published at SwimmingWorld.TV

ATLANTA, Georgia, November 5. WITH the fall signing period just days away, college coaches are hoping for a Christmas bonanza: presents upon presents in the form of talented high school seniors. Still, inevitably more coaches will hear "no" from a given recruit than will hear "yes". The ways in which coaches handle that rejection will likely be far more revealing about their character, and yet the swimmers that commit may never know what would have happened had they uttered it.

It is natural for coaches to feel jilted when they are rejected at the end of this process. Many will have religiously been talking to the prospective student-athlete from July 1 on, a period of four months. They have likely met the prospect in person, had them on campus for an official visit weekend. They may feel some personal attachment. They've spent some time thinking about what having that prospect's swimming ability/personality/academics on their team will mean. And then, in one swift conversation it all comes down. In some cases, there may not even be a conversation. They will log on to this very website to find out that one of their top prospects has already committed to another school.

There are varying ways in which college coaches deal with this rejection. I believe that a silent majority (I call them silent because people don't gossip about them, politeness is so unexciting) will handle it quite well. They will be disappointed for sure, but they will wish the prospect well and move on. Another group will respond completely inappropriately.

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